Recruiting volunteers can be one of the more difficult parts of planning a course. Some Satellite Partners have a group of staff that are dedicated to Cooking Matters programming, but this is the exception. When beginning a volunteer recruitment campaign, it is important to brainstorm ideas ahead of time in order to develop an organized plan to reach the target populations you are seeking. For example, ask the following questions:
- What type of volunteers are you seeking? You’ll need culinary professionals, nutritionists or nutrition students, and interested community members
- What community partnerships are available? Consider community colleges, universities, nutrition students, and church outreach groups.
- What is the best way to reach the target volunteer population? Keep the following statements in mind.
- Culinary professionals are available on Tuesday afternoons when they are in the office for inventory and receiving.
- College students are usually not available during breaks.
- Use your organization’s social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, website, newsletters) to reach more people.
- How will you track your volunteers? You could use an e-newsletter to send out volunteer opportunities to your database of volunteers. Also consider using a spreadsheet to document all interested people. You’ll be able to track training, classes, hours, availability, and more.
- How will you recognize volunteer efforts? Have an incentive plan in place to acknowledge volunteers. Thank volunteers at graduation, send personal thank you notes, give a reusable shopping bag or other incentive at graduation, hold a volunteer social during the year, and highlight regular volunteers on your website or in your newsletters.
This training module has several goals. We aim to prepare you for all aspects of volunteer management for Cooking Matters courses, including recruitment, training, retention, and recognition. We will introduce you to the resources available from both the Food Shuttle and Cooking Matters to support your efforts.
Refer to this Facilitated Dialogue handout for guidance on how you and your volunteers can effectively engage participants in class.
NEW! Tricky Questions Practice Set – Practice potential questions asked by Cooking Matters participants to prepare for your upcoming course.
Curriculum-Specific How To Videos
Module 3 also contains specific ‘how to’ videos that dive deep into the curriculum to provide guidance for implementing each type of course. In each curricula module, you will find suggestions for implementing the lesson and ideas on how to tailor each lesson to your group of participants.
These presentations are not meant to replace your instructor guide, but to share tips and tricks from experienced coordinators to help you use your guide to lead an engaging class. Please feel free to share the link to the appropriate video with your volunteer teaching team as you prepare for your upcoming courses!
Share Our Strength provides lead partners with this Volunteer Training Guide. IFFS does not use it as it is currently designed, but rather we use pieces of this resource to enhance our Train-the-Trainer program. We are providing it to you here just in case you are interested in using any portions of it to enhance your volunteer training.